Mana is the primary resource for casting spells. Mana is typically drawn from lands, but it can also be generated by various non-land spells.   The mana system, designed by Richard Garfield, is part of what makes Magic so successful.
Origin of the concept[edit | edit source]
The term "mana" in association with magic is used by many different cultures, though its more recent usage in fiction and games is generally credited to science fiction author Larry Niven in his The Magic Goes Away series. The designers of Magic paid homage to Niven with the lich character of Nevinyrral and his Nevinyrral's Disk.
Within the worlds of Magic[edit | edit source]
Mana is the magical energy that fuels the spells of spellcasters.  It is deeply interconnected with the lifeforce on every plane in the Multiverse, and it can take that role by itself as well. [note 1] When there is little or no mana in an area, things die or become emaciated and weak.[note 2]
Leylines[edit | edit source]
In Magic, leylines are ancient mana paths that flow and crisscross each other across a given landscape. They are often found rather than cast.  For example, leylines formed the Implicit Maze on Ravnica and connected the hedrons of Zendikar. 
Colors of mana[edit | edit source]
- See also: Numbers and symbols.
Mana is primarily divided into five colors, but can also be "colorless" and have extra qualities such as being "snow". On cards, mana is represented by mana symbols, or letters that represent those mana symbols:
- or S = Snow
- = colorless ("X" is a positive integer. is 1 colorless mana, is 2 colorless mana and so on.)
Hybrid mana[edit | edit source]
Hybrid mana (also known as half-half mana) is a type of mana first introduced in Ravnica: City of Guilds and featured throughout the Ravnica, Shadowmoor and Alara Reborn blocks. Each hybrid mana symbol represents a cost which can be paid with either one of the two colors shown, which can either be two of the five colors, or one color with colorless (always costing ).
Phyrexian mana[edit | edit source]
Phyrexian mana is a type of mana first introduced in New Phyrexia. There are five Phyrexian mana symbols, one for each color: (, , , , ). Similar to hybrid mana, a Phyrexian mana symbol can be paid with either one mana of its color or by paying 2 life directly.
Purple mana[edit | edit source]
During design for Planar Chaos, the developers considered using a new sixth mana color to give the feeling of an alternate reality. They decided on purple as the color, and gave it a place in the color wheel in between blue and black. A new ally and enemy system was invented, in which each color would be enemies with the color directly across from it, allied with the two colors right next to it, and neutral towards the remaining two colors. Purple's basic land would most likely be "City," though both "Cave" and "Portal" were also very likely.
The team eventually decided to give purple enchantment removal worse than white's, direct damage worse than red's, and take away blue's countermagic and black's force-sacrifice effects to give to purple.
However, when they realized that players might be disappointed if there was a new color that didn't really "do anything new", the team started losing interest in the idea and eventually decided to replace the concept with a new type of timeshifted card.
Converted mana cost[edit | edit source]
The converted mana cost (commonly abbreviated CMC) of an object is an integer equal to or greater than zero. It is determined by converting each colored mana symbol in the spell's cost to 1 (unless it is one of the hybrid mana symbols , each of which converts to 2), then adding the results to the colorless mana cost of the spell. (For example, spells with mana costs of and both have a converted mana cost of 3.)
The only case in which a spell's converted mana cost can ever vary is for spells with in the mana cost. When an object with X in the mana cost is on the stack, X equals whatever value was chosen for it when it was put on the stack. In any other location, X equals 0.
- See also: X.
Mana abilities[edit | edit source]
A mana ability is either:
- an activated ability that could put mana into a player's mana pool when it resolves.
- a triggered ability that triggers from a mana ability and could produce additional mana.
A mana ability does not use the stack, and as such it cannot be countered or responded to by either player.
|Examples of activated mana abilities
Examples of triggered mana abilities
Comprehensive Rules[edit | edit source]
|101. The Magic Golden Rules|
|103. Starting the Game|
|104. Ending the Game|
|107. Numbers and Symbols|
|115. Special Actions|
|116. Timing and Priority|
|120. Drawing a Card|
|Parts of a Card|
|Spells, Abilities, and Effects|
Mana cost and color[edit | edit source]
Rulings[edit | edit source]
- If a cost has an "X" in it, the mana cost equals the amount announced as part of playing the spell or ability while it is on the stack, but if the card in any other zone, X is treated as zero.
- An in a cost is similar to the symbol , but the mana must come from a snow permanent. It can't be paid with mana produced by nonsnow permanents.
- When paying for , it matters only if the permanents that produced the mana had supertype snow at the time the mana was produced. Changes before or after that time do not matter.
- is not a color, you can't add to your mana pool, and "snow mana" is not a type of mana.
- Colorless is not a color. See Rule 203.2c.
- The mana cost of a spell on the stack is the mana cost printed on the spell or ability being played. Only the choice value of X affects the mana cost. Other cost modifiers do not alter the mana cost.
Obsolete Mana burn rule[edit | edit source]
- See also: Mana burn.
When a phase ends, any unused mana left in a player's mana pool is lost. That player loses 1 life for each mana lost this way. This is called mana burn, and because it is loss of life, not damage, it can't be prevented or altered by effects that affect damage.
Mana Burn has been removed from the rules since Magic 2010.
See also[edit | edit source]
Notes[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]
- Reid Duke. (July 6, 2015.) "The Basics of Mana", magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Mike McArtor. (November 13, 2014.) "Oh the Huge Mana Tease", magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Mark Rosewater. (June 05, 2006.) "As Good As It Gets", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Mark Rosewater. ( May 23, 2011.) "Mana Action", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Doug Beyer. (February 06, 2008.) "The Mana Bond", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Doug Beyer. (July 07, 2010.) "Target: Face", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Ari Levitch. (July 15, 2015.) "Limits", magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Mark Rosewater. (October 04, 2004.) "Change For the Better", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Paul Sottosanti. (January 29, 2007.) "The Color Purple", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.